Review the diagram and component descriptions. When installing on-premises, you can decide where to deploy various components.

Sysdig Agent

Sysdig will collect monitoring and security information from all the target entities. To achieve this, one Sysdig agent should be deployed in each host. These hosts can be:

  • The nodes that make up a Kubernetes or OpenShift cluster

  • Virtual machines or bare metal

  • Living in a cloud environment (i.e. AWS, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, Azure, etc.) or on the customer’s premises

The Sysdig agent can be installed as a container itself using a Helm chart, Kubernetes operator, etc.

Once the agent is installed in the host it will automatically start collecting information from the running containers, container runtime, the orchestration API (Kubernetes, OpenShift, etc), metrics from defined Prometheus endpoints, auto-detected JMX sources, StatsD, and integrations as well as the host itself.

The Sysdig agent maintains a permanent communication channel with the Sysdig backend which is used to encapsulate messages containing the monitoring metrics, infrastructure metadata, and security events. The channel is protected using standard TLS encryption and transports data using binary messages. Using this channel, the agent can transmit data, but also receive additional configuration from the backend, such as security runtime policies or benchmarks.

Sysdig Backend

The Sysdig backend is used directly in its SaaS version, thus being managed transparently by Sysdig Inc., or it can also be installed on the customer’s premises. This distinction does not affect the operation of the platform described below.

Once the agent messages are received in the backend, they are processed and extracted into data available to the platform - time series, infrastructure and security events, and infrastructure metadata.

The main components of the backend/platform include:

  • Extraction and post-processing of the metric data from the agent, so that full time-series, with all the necessary infrastructure metadata, is available to the user

  • Maintenance of the infrastructure metadata (most notably Kubernetes state), so that all events and time series can be enriched and correctly grouped

  • Storage of time-series and event data

  • Processing of time-series data to calculate alert triggers

  • Queuing the security events triggered by the agents to be shown on the event feed, notifying by the configured notification channels and alerts and forwarding via the Event Forwarder to external platforms like Splunk, Syslog or IBM MCM / Qradar

  • Aggregating and post-processing other security data such as container fingerprints that will be used to generate container profiles, or security benchmark results.

The Sysdig platform then stores this post-processed data in a set of internal databases that will be combined by the API service to create the data views, such as dashboards, event feeds, vulnerability reports, or security benchmarks.

Sysdig APIs

The Sysdig platform provides several ways to consume and present its internal data. All APIs are RESTful, HTTP JSON-based, and secured using TLS. The same APIs are used to power the Sysdig front end, as well as any API clients (such as sdc-cli).

  • Monitor API

    • User and Team management API

    • Dashboard API

    • Events API

    • Alerts API

    • Data API (proprietary Sysdig API for querying time-series data)

  • Secure API

    • Image Scanning API

    • Security Events API

    • Activity Audit API

    • Secure Overview API

  • PromQL API: Prometheus compatible HTTP API for querying time -series data

These enable different use cases:

  • User access to the platform via the Sysdig user interface

  • Programmatic input and extraction of data, i.e.

    • Automatic user creation

    • Terraform scripts to save or recover configuration state

    • Inline scanning to push scanning results from the CI/CD pipeline

    • Instrumentation using the sdc-cli.

  • PromQL API interface that can be used to connect any PromQL-compatible solutions, such as Grafana.